The Straits Times
Published on Oct 16, 2012

Myanmar president Thein Sein keeps ruling party rein


NAYPYIDAW (AFP) - Myanmar's reformist President Thein Sein was reappointed on Tuesday as head of the ruling party at a key meeting aimed at reviving its flagging political fortunes against a resurgent opposition.

The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which held its first major conference in the capital Naypyidaw, is seeking a new strategy to avert a possible major electoral defeat in 2015.

But in the end the party refrained from replacing Mr Thein Sein as its leader amid signs of political rivalry within its top ranks.

Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann, a fellow reformer who had been tipped for promotion, was picked as acting chairman to handle the day-to-day business in a closed-door vote by the executive committee, members said.